Earlier today, it was reported that Choi Jin-Ri — better known by her artist mononym Sulli — was found dead in her home. The K-pop community is in shock and many are mourning in their own way. For example, SM Entertainment, the label and talent agency Sulli was signed to, has canceled and postponed all the recent activities of their artists out of respect for Sulli, her family and friends during their time of need.
Though it is a time of mourning, there are also many who are expressing a lot of anger, not towards Sulli, but to whom they believe is the reason for her death: malicious commenters.
Many K-pop fans, with the bulk of them being international fans, are blaming Korean netizens, the ones who post malicious comments and engage in online bullying, for Sulli’s death.
On top of that, Shin Hyun-Jin is was the first Hallyu star to also call out the malicious commenters calling them “faceless and cowardly murderers.”
International fans stand in solidarity for Sulli
It should be noted that throughout Sulli’s entire career, she has been criticized. While she was a child actress, she was criticized for overacting. While part of f(x), she was criticized that her singing and dancing were not “up to par” with the other members. And as a soloist, she was criticized for… everything.
Sadly, some of those criticisms included malicious comments. International K-pop fans have taken the time to look up past events in which malicious comments and online bullying has happened to Sulli.
During an online live show, as seen below, Sulli talks to viewers, asking them to not misunderstand her and that she is not a bad person, something that malicious commenters backed by Korean media have pushed.
“Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not a bad person”
— ً (@RKIVESUGA) October 14, 2019
Shin Hyun-Jun takes a stand against malicious commenters
In the past, many Korean stars, especially the big ones in Hallyu, would remain silent when it came to malicious comments and cyberbullying because it wasn’t their job to “rock the boat.” Their respective agencies would usually take care of the matter.
That is no longer the case as Korean stars are now standing up against bullying. In a surprise post, actor Shin Hyun-Jun went the extra mile by calling malicious commenters “faceless and cowardly murderers.”
The post was uploaded the same day news of Sulli’s death was made known. The caption is written in Hangul but reads, “Another precious life has left us. Malicious commenters. You are cowardly and faceless murderers.”
Since Shin Hyun-Jun has made his views known, more Hallyu stars have come forward. Probably not as aggressive as Hyun-Jun has but they are making statements against cyberbullying and malicious comments.
Scary how people can hide behind a mask of anonymity online to bully others & don't need direkt physical access to do irreparable harm.💔
— 𝙁𝙊𝙇𝙇𝙊𝙒: 𝙁𝙄𝙉𝘿 𝙞𝙙𝙖 (@imKYUNique) October 14, 2019
The news of Sulli’s passing is still fresh in the minds of K-pop fans. For anyone who was Sulli’s fan during her time as a K-pop idol with f(x), a soloist after she left the group, or as a guest on variety shows, or acting in K-dramas, we mourn alongside you all for this loss.
For anyone who is mentally or emotionally suffering like Sulli did before she passed on or know someone like her, please seek or provide help if needed. We should also take a stand against bullying, something Sulli suffered her entire career and many international fans feel is the reason for her death.
If you or anyone you know needs help or is feeling in distress contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline confidentially on 1-800-273-TALK or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org. They provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day.